Hello there. I'm here today to deliver a very important message. Countless people each year and their loved ones suffer from a terrible affliction. According to science, every single person on Earth either suffers from, or has at least one direct relation to someone suffering from this condition. However due to a troubling lack of awareness, many are not even aware that this condition exists. Sadly, many people will go their entire lives unaware that they are suffering from this insidious blight, never understanding how their problem is destroying those around them. I am here to tell you that in these dark times, there is still hope.
The condition I am describing is of course, Uncontrollable Compulsive Plastic Bag Hoarding Disorder or U.C.P.B.H.D.
U.C.P.B.H.D. is a condition afflicting 82% of women and 15% of men worldwide in which the afflicted individual suffers from an unstoppable need to save every single plastic shopping bag that enters their home and stuff them into spare cabinets.
Doctors recognize several subsets of the condition which often go hand in hand with U.C.P.B.H.D. involving the hoarding of other similarly unnecessary items. Many distraught loved ones of sufferers have found themselves buried under a haphazard avalanche of saved birthday and Christmas gift bags, tissue paper and department store clothing boxes. Others lament their fate while wading elbow deep through a heap of cleaned out and saved cool whip, cottage cheese or 'kind of fancy' plastic take out containers, most without the accompanying lid, all saved for an undefined and largely unnecessary reason.
U.C.P.B.H.D. is a silent killer, it destroys the lives of those unfortunate enough to cross it's path. Due to under-reporting, exact figures are difficult to pinpoint, but it is believed that roughly 40 million drawers in the United States alone are rendered useless due to plastic shopping bag crowding. The number of lives destroyed is beyond count.
It is up to you, the trail of broken and shattered homes left in the wake of this terrible, terrible condition can only be ended by raising awareness. Help is out there, it just takes the courage of loved ones to open the discussion about the realities of U.C.P.B.H.D.
If you suspect you or someone you love may be suffering from U.C.P.B.H.D., I urge you to ask yourself the following questions:
How many drawers are there in my kitchen? How many of them are devoted entirely to plastic grocery store bags?
Are there more containers in the cabinets which are the cleaned out containers that some other thing came in than actual tupperware?
Is there a closet in my home that I do not open under any circumstance because that's 'the wrapping paper closet' and the last time I went in there it took twenty minutes to stuff everything back in place?
Do you have a 'crammin' spoon' in your kitchen? (A sturdy wooden spoon used to jam down plastic bags so drawers will shut properly.
If you answered yes to any of these questions it is possible that you or your loved one is suffering from U.C.P.B.H.D. This can be a serious condition for some, and often may require professional intervention.
If you think you may be living with an individual suffering from U.C.P.B.H.D. but you are still not sure or not sure of the severity of the issue, here are a carefully designed series of questions that you may ask in order to gauge the extent of the problem.
- Do you really feel you need to save ALL of these (plastic bags/Tupperware/gift bags)?
- Why do you feel the need to save all of these (plastic bags/Tupperware/gift bags)?
- What do you use these (plastic bags/Tupperware/gift bags) for?
- How many of these items do you think you have saved total?
- What percent of that amount do you think you have ever or will ever use?
- How many cabinets and closets in the house to you think have been rendered unusable because they are stuffed full of shopping bags?
- Are you aware that we already have bags in the house which we purchased and keep specifically for trash and things?
- Are you aware that we already own a significant amount of nice Tupperware which is regularly sized and stack-able for neat, organized storage as opposed to having to throw things into the cupboard and slam the door as fast as possible so it doesn't all come out?
- Are you aware that they sell wrapping paper and bags at a number of different stores for relatively little money, and that these items can be purchased as needed for gifts?
See how your loved one responds to these questions. Did they react reasonably? Did they react with Anger? Complete Denial?
The road to healing may be long and filled with strife. Many have been suffering for years with U.C.P.B.H.D. and will find the transition to a normal, healthy, hoarding-free lifestyle difficult. They will need your love and support during the coming hardships, but remember, you are not alone. Resources are available to ease the burden of a recovering bag hoarder and their families. Do not be afraid to seek help.
This has been a public service announcement. I hope that it will help you or someone you care about deal with the horrors of Uncontrollable Compulsive Plastic Bag Hoarding Disorder. Please, if anything you have seen here reminds you of someone you know. Share it with them. Encourage them to seek help. You may just save a life.
Paid for by the Foundation for Husbands Who Wish Every Drawer in Their House Wasn't Full of Goddamn Shopping Bags.